New Operations Director to manage South West bus routes

03 Jun 2021

Katie Wagstaff Operations Director  

Stagecoach South West has announced the appointment of new operations director, Katie Wagstaff to join their senior management team.

Katie began her career as a graduate trainee at Stagecoach South in 2014 and has since worked in various management roles within the Stagecoach London business and was previously Operations Manager for Basingstoke. She will be responsible for the South West operations which includes 917 drivers and 348 buses and coaches spanning over 111 routes and over 16 million miles a year. She replaces Paul Clark, who left at the end of May 2021 to take a new opportunity at First Bus in Glasgow.

Katie follows a number of leaders within the business who began their career through the Stagecoach graduate scheme. The initiative is a two year leadership programme, investing in the development of the future leaders of the business. Successful candidates are given a fully rounded experience of all aspects of the company from operations to commercial as well as engineering and marketing. The hugely successful scheme has developed five of their current MDs and 36 functional directors.

As well as being committed to developing graduate careers within their business, Stagecoach is also working hard to attract more women to take up jobs within the transport industry. Last year, Stagecoach became the first major private sector multi-modal transport business in the country to appoint a female Managing Director, with Carla Stockton Jones taking the lead. They have also increased representation of women within their Operations Board to 42% and are continuing to target a 20% increase in female leadership positions. Katie’s appointment adds to the already strong female representation across the group with 33% of Regional Director roles and 23% of Operations Director positions held by women. Katie said “Stagecoach has taken big steps towards encouraging more women to join the bus industry at all levels. I am pleased to work for a business that has an open and welcoming environment for everyone.”

Welcoming her to the team, Stagecoach South West Managing Director, Mike Watson said: “Katie has a wealth of experience in delivering operational performance with a strong focus on staff wellbeing, and is a great example of how anyone keen to get into the industry can maximise the development tools Stagecoach has to offer to expand their career. We are delighted that she has chosen to join us here in Devon, to help us in continuing to make a positive impact on our workforce and improve our services across the region.”

Having started out as a Graduate Trainee in Portsmouth and Worthing in 2014 Katie took up the position of Assistant Operations Manager for Leyton at Stagecoach London in 2015 , here she was shortlisted as a Young Manager of the Year in

2016. From 2016 Katie has held Operations Manager positions for Stagecoach London in the busy Barking and Plumstead depots.

Katie also had the opportunity to further develop her skills when she was seconded to the Rail Business Development team working on the West Coast Partnership bid gaining invaluable experience in the rail side of the business. She was also and selected for the Stagecoach Talent Group, where she was provided with a mentor who helped to continue her development and work towards her progression through the company.

Katie said “I’m delighted to join a great team here in the South West, and I’m looking forward to working with everyone to make the services we offer to communities across even better. ”

This year Stagecoach Group marks 40 years of keeping Britain connected, the company and its services underpin more than £1.6bn in economic value to the country’s economy each year, as well as supporting 10,000 jobs in the supply chain and around 1 in 1,000 jobs across the UK.

Stagecoach South West provides local bus services across the whole of Devon and Torbay, and into Plymouth, Cornwall and Somerset. Over our financial year from May 2020 to April 2021 we carried a total of 13.2 million passengers and operated a total of 16.2 million miles. We employ a total of 1102 staff located at 4 depots, 11 outstations.